A striking revelation has emerged from the Dirco Symposium meeting on Monday. Officials representing Zimbabwe at the event have reacted to claims that the US government has offered to ease sanctions on the country, if President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses the issues surrounding the land reform programme issued in 2000.
The Mugabe-era law ushered in a period of chaos and violence, as white farm owners were forced off their properties as part of ZANU-PF’s attempts to redistribute land in Zimbabwe. The much-maligned legislation cast pariah status upon the country, and marked the start of Zim’s dramatic economic decline.
US ask Zimbabwe to “give back the land” – Zim officials
Mnangagwa hasn’t proved to be much softer than his predecessor, though. Since 2017, the president has twice ordered a military crackdown against his own civilians, and he’s overseen another dramatic inflation in food and petrol prices. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Certainly, Mnangagwa’s hardline stance remains the same on land. The Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Africa told the Dirco event that the US want the land returning to those who owned it at the turn of the century. But according to David Hamadzripi, the president is standing firm on the land grabs – a position EM reiterated on Monday afternoon: